What is your policy on importing lead lists?

One of the great features of DJ Event Planner is the ability to send out email messages to clients, employees, venues, vendors, salespeople, and yourself. However, DJEP is not to be used for Email Marketing to lead lists. You MUST have a pre-existing relationship with the lead before you send them an email message via DJEP. Violation of this rule will potentially result in the termination of your ability to send email via the program.

We do not allow the importing of lead lists into the program at this time. Enabling this functionality would lead to users emailing these "leads" from within the DJEP system. If these emails were to be sent, many of them would be reported as Spam to the ISP of the recipients. If there are too many spam reports, our servers will be blacklisted.

I did some research on the policies of some major email marketing companies. Here are the results.

On March 11th, 2010, I spoke with Constant Contact by phone. They explicitly stated that uploading lead lists from Bridal Show organizers would be against their terms of service and would be considered Spam. Below are excerpts from their FAQ found here: http://ccprod.roving.com/CCSpamPolicy.jsp

Constant Contact requires that you have a pre-existing business relationship with the recipient:

What constitutes a Preexisting business relationship?

The recipient of your email has made a purchase, requested information, responded to a questionnaire or a survey, or had offline contact with you.

Constant Contact has a "Spam Test":

How to protect yourself from Spam: Take the Spam Test

  1. Are you importing a purchased list of ANY kind?
  2. Are you sending to non-specific addresses such as:
    • sales@domain.com, business@domain.com, webmaster@domain.com, info@domain.com, or other general addresses.
  3. Are you sending to distribution lists or mailing lists which send indirectly to a variety of email addresses?
  4. Are you mailing to anyone who has not explicitly agreed to join your mailing list?
  5. Have you falsified your originating address or transmission path information?
  6. Have you used a third party email address or domain name without their permission?
  7. Does your email's subject line contain false or misleading information?
  8. Does your email fail to provide a working link to unsubscribe?
  9. Are you failing to process any unsubscribe requests that come to you via a reply to your email within 10 days or the request?

If you have answered YES to ANY of the above questions you will likely be labeled a SPAMMER. For more information visit The Coalition Against Unsolicited Email (www.cauce.org) or contact Constant Contact Customer Support (support@constantcontact.com)

I also spoke with the folks at iContact on March 11, 2010. They explicitly said that uploading a lead list from a bridal show is against their terms of service and doing so would result in termination of your account. The following excerpt is from the iContact website: http://www.icontact.com/terms/antispam

An opt-in can occur either via a sign-up form on a web site, at a point-of-sale sign-up form, or on a physical sign-up sheet. Any opt-in form should include a clear description of what will be sent and how often it will be sent. Purchased lists may not be used within the iContact system, regardless of the source or permission status.

In conclusion, to have a pre-existing relationship with the potential client you should have DIRECT contact with them. Lead lists from trade show organizers are NOT acceptable.


I also checked in with MailChimp on March 11, 2010. Here is what they had to say about the situation. The following is an excerpt from: http://www.mailchimp.com/omnivore/

If a well meaning business owner sends an unsolicited email "blast" to a list he got from a tradeshow, he's technically spamming

Here is the transcript from a live chat with the MailChimp staff:


Troy: I am writing a blog post for my users, some of whom use MailChimp. I would like to confirm that importing a "Lead List" that they acquired from a "Bridal Fair" (which is basically a tradeshow) is against the terms of service for MailChimp. Do you have an FAQ for this as I am currently unable to find it.

Alianor: Well, that would be covered in our Terms of Service. The details of how the list was compiled are important in this sort of situation.

Alianor: http://www.mailchimp.com/page/terms/

Troy: The brides give the show organizers their email address and the organizers give the list to exhibitors. The exhibitors do not necessarily have any contact with the brides.

Alianor: Okay, in that case, yes! The list would be against our terms of service.

Troy: Thank you for the link and the clarification. Much appreciated :)

Alianor: If a vendor had a clipboard where brides could sign up for a list directly, the list would be fine.

Researching one spam authority website, I found out the following clarification of what Spam is. Taken from http://www.spamhaus.org/definition.html

Spam is an issue about consent, not content. Whether the Unsolicited Bulk Email ("UBE") message is an advert, a scam, porn, a begging letter or an offer of a free lunch, the content is irrelevant - if the message was sent unsolicited and in bulk then the message is spam.